Neil Pollard and Mark Hayward excel in Newark Half; Jonathan Pye and Chris Underwood defy heat in SVP 100K/50K

Newark Half Marathon, Sunday, August 14th: Despite the temperature climbing into the upper twenties during the race, Neil Pollard and Mark Hayward produced superb performances. Pollard (1:13:15, 8th of 599 overall, 2nd of 58 in M40) was just 6 seconds outside his PB time recorded in the Wokingham HM in February this year, while Hayward (1:15:15, 14th overall, 3rd in M40) was not far from his PB of 1:13:59 gained at Stowmarket last March. Both will now be in full marathon training mode for the autumn, with the TCS London Marathon a likely target.


Neil Pollard seen in the Bury Friday 5, June 2022. Many thanks to Neil for the great photo.

SVP 100K & 50K, Saturday August 13th: It was seriously challenging conditions in the Stour Valley Path 100K and 50K this year, with temperatures rising to around 32C during the day and the sun beating down relentlessly in the many unshaded stretches. As usual, the 100km route started at Newmarket in Suffolk (near the source of the Stour river) and continued all the way to Manningtree in Essex, following footpath trails along the Stour Valley, with the 50km route starting at the halfway point in Sudbury, Suffolk.

Jonathan Pye opted for the 100K event and had to dig extremely deep in the closing stages. He showed a lot of courage to come home 18th of only 35 finishers, in a time of 14:23:57, with 53 of the original 88 starters having to retire at earlier checkpoints along the way. In the 50K event, Chris Underwood also courageously made it to the end, coming home 21st of 98 finishers in a time of 6:27:32, with 17 starters having to retire. He was very appreciative of a crew of friends who had helped support his run.

Chris Underwood in the SVP 50K event on Saturday, August 13th. Many thanks to Chris for posting the Strava photo.

Joggers enjoy a drink at the Marquis of Granby in Stetchworth, after the Stetchworth trail run on Thursday August 11th. From left clockwise: Olivia Carter, Andy Fryatt, Mark Hayward, Joe Cormack, Jim Withers, Chris Aylmer, Brian Munns (partly hidden), Rob Hawkins? (hidden) Jonathan Ollington and Shane Basing. Thanks to Olivia for the photo.